April 10th, 2013
The Special Issue brings together climate, statistical and impacts analyses in order to improve methods for quantifying, reducing and communicating uncertainty in predictions of climate and its impacts.
Climate models have for many years been run as ensembles, in order to capture the uncertainty associated with seasonal to multi-decadal prediction. Whilst it is increasingly common for climate impacts studies to be conducted using ensembles, there is generally less emphasis on capturing the full range of uncertainty. Further, it can be argued that it is not always desirable to do so. By bringing together a range of modellers and statisticians we have been able to conduct end-to-end (i.e. climate to impacts) analyses of uncertainty in models and data.
April 9th, 2013
Strengthening resilience through improved treatment of uncertainty in weather, climate and impacts March 13th and 14th 2013, London.
The meeting reviewed EQUIP progress and took a forward-looking view of uncertainty quantification at both weather and climate timescales. Sessions focused on Managing uncertainty in climate and its impacts, Quantifying uncertainty on timescales of days to seasons and Communication of uncertainty and knowledge exchange. The event was attended by participants from research organisations, funding agencies, government, development agencies and insurance organisations.
Please click on the link below for a copy of the agenda:
Final EQUIP Meeting Agenda
Presentation slides from the speakers are available below.
Day 1: Managing uncertainty in climate and its impacts
Session 1: Methods for quantifying uncertainty (Chair: Chris Ferro, Exeter)
Testing climate forecasts – M Allen (pending approval)
Session 2: Evaluating skill and relevance (Chair: Helen Hanlon, Met Office)
Judging the credibility of climate projections – C Ferro (please email C.A.T.Ferro@exeter.ac.uk for slides)
Session 3: Towards robust climate change risk assessment (Chair: Jim Hall, Oxford)
Day 2: Quantifying uncertainty on timescales of days to seasons
Session 1: Quantifying sub-seasonal uncertainty (Chair: Steve Woolnough, Reading)
On the reliability of seasonal forecasts – A Weisheimer
Variability of West African weather systems – C Thorncroft (pending approval)
Session 2: Improved impacts modelling (Chair: Andy Challinor, Leeds)
Session 3: Communication of uncertainty and knowledge exchange (Chair: Emma Visman, KLC, and Andy Morse, Liverpool)
Exchange between climate scientists and humanitarian and development policymakers and community users: demonstration studies in Kenya and Senegal – E Visman (pending approval)
December 18th, 2012
EQUIP scientists have been working on the IPCC Assessment Report, due for publication in 2014. Authors on the first working group, which focuses on climate science, have submitted two rounds of drafts. Working group II focuses on impacts and adaptation, and authors are working towards a deadline of early next year for the second drafts. EQUIP is contributing to:
Long-term Climate Change; Projections, Commitments and Irreversibility; Detection and Attribution of Climate Change; Climate Phenomena and their Relevance for Future Regional Climate Change; Food Production Systems and Food Security; Foundations for Decision-making.
July 23rd, 2012
Several members of the EQUIP team contributed to a workshop on Tolerating the Right Kinds of Uncertainty, http://www.devstud.org.uk/tolerating_the_right_kinds_of_uncertainty_workshop_28th_may_2012-104.html hosted at the Wellcome Trust in London by UKCDS on 28 May 2012.
The workshop contributed to the activities of the Humanitarian Futures Programme (HFP) at KCL aiming to develop integrated and systematic approaches to strengthening resilience in vulnerable communities in Africa through supporting the ways in which these communities are able to access, understand and act on scientific information about the weather and climate in emergencies as well as in the longer term. Linked to a NERC Knowledge Exchange Fellowship held by Emma Visman, this one-day event provided a space for discussion between climate scientists and the users of climate information, including humanitarian, disaster risk reduction and development organisations, policy makers and African community/partner organisations.
Contributions from the EQUIP team came from Myles Allen (University of Oxford), Andy Morse (University of Liverpool), David Stainforth (LSE), and Peter Stott (UK Met Office). Perspectives from climate science were also heard from Mike Harrison (University of Oxford), Dominic Kniveton (University of Sussex) and Tim Palmer (University of Oxford/ECMWF). Yvan Biot from the Department for International Development (DfID) provided a policy perspective, and Benedict Dempsey from Save the Children, Richard Ewbank from Christian Aid and Clare Harris from HelpAge International provided insights from NGO perspectives. Input from community and partner organisations included Abere Mihretie from the Anti-Malaria Association Ethiopia and Samuel Mwangi from the Kenya Meteorological Department.
The focus of the workshop was on discussing and sharing understandings about the nature of uncertainty in weather and climate predictions and the extent to which science could be confident in the reliability of the information it produced. The kinds of weather and climate information that were of relevance to decision-makers were also addressed. Reoccurring themes relating to barriers of communication emerging during the workshop included:
i) The importance of recognising and addressing differences in the meanings of commonly used terms (e.g. attribution) and less commonly used terms (e.g. probability) across the user communities;
ii) The importance of acknowledging and coordinating different understandings and interpretations of uncertainty;
iii) The need to develop channels to enable dialogue about the types of weather and climate information required by decision makers and the most appropriate formats and technologies for transmitting information;
iv) The significance of coordinating the tensions between different organisational needs and expectations, including the effect of an organisation’s methods of accountability on decision-making practices, and the measuring of impact.
v) The need for increased investment in the communication of climate science for user-communities.
Drawing on the day’s discussions, representatives from DfID, EQUIP, ESRC, GO Science, NERC, Save the Children and UK Met Office drew the workshop to a close with a panel discussion on how their organisations could support the development of a systematic framework for translating weather and climate science into information to support decision-making. Suggestions included opportunities for funding, for identifying channels to showcase what climate science had to offer, and for developing and continuing dialogue with appropriate brokers of climate information.
A short film on “Decoding Science – Reducing Risk” http://vimeo.com/45299755 commissioned by GO Science-Humanitarian Futures Programme summarises the discussions of this workshop on Tolerating Uncertainty with a further workshop on Measuring Real Impact in June 2012.
April 30th, 2012
“A bias-corrected decomposition of the Brier score”, C A T Ferro and T E Fricker, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, DOI: 10.1002/qj.1924 22/03/2012 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/qj.1924/full
“Reconciling two approaches to attribution of the 2010 Russian heatwave”, Friederike E L Otto, Neil Massey, Geert Jan van Oldenborgh, Richard G Jones and Myles R Allen, Geophysical Research Letters, 39, L04702, doi:10.1029/2011GL050422 21/02/2012 http://www.agu.org/journals/gl/gl1204/2011GL050422/
“Uncertainty in science and its role in climate policy”, Leonard A Smith & Nicholas Stern, Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society A (2011), 369, 1-24 doi: 10.1098/rsta.2011.0149 13/12/2011 http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4818.full?sid=b2972587-1519-421e-95ab-8e917e199542
February 14th, 2012
As part of our special issue, we are developing an uncertainty framework – for details contact email@example.com
February 13th, 2012
At the recent EQUIP Annual Conference, we discussed input to the IPCC process and our forthcoming special issue of Climatic Change. Speakers at the conference included Tiago Capela Lourenço, Project Co-ordinator - Circle 2 (http://www.circle-era.eu/np4/home.html), Emma Visman, Futures Group Manager of the Humanitarian Futures Programme (http://www.humanitarianfutures.org/) and Rowan Sutton, Climate Director of the National Centre for Atmospheric Science and Professor of Meteorology at the University of Reading (http://www.met.reading.ac.uk/users/users/263)
August 23rd, 2011
Two articles in nature journals highlighting the value of robust treatments of uncertainty:
Global studies using crop-climate models are becoming increasingly common. How should such studies deal with uncertainty? Here, an EQUIP scientist argues that a focus on fundamental bio-physical processes is needed. http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v1/n2/full/nclimate1098.html
Following an interdisciplinary workshop on climate extremes that brought together climate scientists, statisticians and ecologists, this article was written to give a brief overview of what we already know of environmental extremes and the challenges we face in attempting to study the response of extremes to a changing climate. We have emphasised the importance of studying extremes as extreme climatic events can cause widespread damage and have been projected to become more frequent as the world warms. However, it is still not always clear which extremes have the largest impact, and how and why they are changing. http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v4/n3/abs/ngeo1090.html
June 20th, 2011
Planet Earth article on EQUIP published Spring 2011
March 14th, 2011
The first EQUIP publication assessed uncertainty in both climate and crop response in order to quantify the impact of future droughts and heatwaves on crops. The study showed that large-scale crop failures of the kind that caused the Russian wheat crises of 2010 are likely to become more common. Results also demonstrated that the worst effects of these events on agriculture could be mitigated by adapting the varieties of crops grown, as well as through policy measures that support other forms of adaptation. The paper, which is freely available at
http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/5/3/034012/ , was widely reported in the media and led to interviews on local and national radio.